It is nice being the only female journo in London (and maybe the world) who hasn’t got a book in her. If I were to write one though, it would definitely be some sort of self-help book on anti-ageing . Anti-ageing. There’s no such thing, as a marvellous menopause doctor from the La Prairie Clinique in Montreux once told me. But there is such thing as Better Ageing, and there are definitely tricks that can be employed to make the ineluctable just that little bit less gruesome.
One of them is changing the way you blow dry your hair. For years I had the same old boring “blowjob”. Bit of a root lift round the crown and then poker straight on the lengths and ends (usually with the help of those marvellous irons from Daniel Hersheson). It was a variation on the Rachel from Friends look and for years it worked just fine. Then I hit my 50s and instead of looking like Jennifer Aniston I suddenly began looking like Barbra Streisand. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Barbra but I do believe there is a certain age when poker straight hair just doesn’t work anymore. (Ditto that bouncy Farrah Fawcett/Chelsea Tractor look which I’ve always felt can only be carried off if you are under 35 or a drag queen.
What to have instead, then? A good tonging. By tonging I mean that ripple-y, wave-y look — kind of like what happens when you plait your hair and then take it out — which gives you height and instant glamour, but will always look way less “done” than a straight blow job.
But there are tongings and there are tongings and IMHO the Master Tonger, the hairdresser I ask to be careful crossing streets because he has become such an important part of my life, is Roi at George Northwood. Something about the way he bends it on the top to give height (important if, like me, you have a skull shaped like a light bulb) something about the way he shows my disobedient hair who is boss with those magic tongs of his. He really ought to be given a title for it. (Well, he has been in a way. As of this week, he will have been promoted to Head Stylist, pip, pip.)